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The Asphalt Princess (previously named Thalassa Desgagnes). Source: Kevin D.Majewski/Reuters
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  • Oil tanker Asphalt Princess has been hijacked by armed men in the Gulf of Oman and ordered to sail to Iran
  • It is not clear who has seized the ship but analysts say Iranian forces are suspected
  • The ship is currently in the Arabian Sea just outside the Stait of Hormuz, where a fifth of the world’s maritime oil supplies pass
  • US officials have said its military is considering repositioning at least one vessel around the area of Asphalt Princess to keep a closer eye

A Panama-flagged ship has been hijacked by armed men in the Gulf of Oman and ordered to sail to Iran.

Three maritime security sources believe the oil tanker, dubbed Asphalt Princess, was hijack by Iranian-backed forces.

While it is not clear who has seized the ship, analysts have said that Iranian forces are suspected.

Two of the sources found the vessel in an area in the Arabian Sea that leads the the Stait of Hormuz, where about a fifth of the world’s maritime oil supplies passes.

This news comes after the British maritime trade agency reported a “potential hijack” in the area on Tuesday.

This incident comes less than a week after an oil tanker, operated by an Israeli-owned company, was attacked by a drone off Oman, killing two security guards.

US officials have said its military is considering repositioning at least one vessel around the area of Asphalt Princess to keep a closer eye. The officials said they would rather monitor the situation than make any imminent military moves.

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